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Sumida Aquarium asks people to video chat with lonely eels

Lonely eels want to video chat at Sumida Aquarium

Several zoos and aquariums have been working on ways to engage visitors while closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But one Tokyo aquarium is making sure that its underwater inhabitants are kept engaged too.

Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo, like many other attractions in the country, is currently closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This popular venue is home to many interesting creatures, including Garden Eels.

Some of the Aquarium’s residents are enjoying the visitor-free attraction. For example, staff have been posting videos on social media of the Aquarium’s penguins enjoying a wander around the empty corridors, and even enjoying some of the immersive experiences on offer.

Lonely eels

However, this week the aquarium posted that its garden eels need some help. It appears that the lonely eels are missing the sound of human voices. While the Aquarium is busy with customers, the creatures become used to the sound.

But while closed, it seems the sensitive eels are forgetting what humans sound and look like, and have started to hide whenever a keeper comes close to the tank. This means it is difficult for the Aquarium’s staff to check on their health.

Now, the Aquarium has put out a plea on Twitter for people to make video calls with the lonely eels, helping them to get reaccustomed to the sound of human voices and the sight of people.

According to the Straits Times, the Aquarium has set up five tablets around the eel’s tank and is asking people to call and chat to them on their iPhones or iPad, using FaceTime. They are asked to smile, wave and talk naturally, but not to shout.

Meanwhile, the Aquarium’s penguins seem to be enjoying themselves just fine:

Elsewhere, the St Louis Aquarium has been setting up a range of initiatives to connect with visitors while closed, while videos from Georgia Aquarium showing puppies and kittens having a tour of the empty attraction went viral on Twitter.

Image: Sumida Aquarium

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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